Typhoon Mawar continued to strengthen in the Pacific on Monday as Guam authorities urged residents to prepare and stay out of the water.
A typhoon warning was in effect for Guam, a U.S. territory, and Rota, a nearby island, the National Weather Service said. Damaging winds were expected within the next 24 hours, at least through Wednesday night.
Just before 6 p.m. local time, Mawar experienced maximum sustained winds of about 100 miles per hour, said Brandon Bukunt, a meteorologist with the Guam Weather Service. He said Mawar had not yet developed a true eye, but was expected to strengthen to a Category 3 typhoon with sustained winds of 115mph.
The storm is expected to continue to strengthen and intensify and is forecast to make landfall on Guam on Wednesday morning.
The storm’s largest impacts will begin Tuesday evening and peak overnight hours through Wednesday, Bukunt said.
As the storm approaches the islands, its winds will « pick up, » Bukunt said, and outer rainbands could bring heavy downpours, increasing the chances of flooding, including in Guam, which hosts Andersen Air Force Base.
The difference between a typhoon and a hurricane is in name only and based on geography. Typhoon is used for tropical cyclones that develop in the Pacific Northwest and affect Asia. Elsewhere, they’re called hurricanes.
« The system can make small wobbles, a bit like a snake going through grass, » said Patrick Doll, the Weather Service’s chief meteorologist. “It may travel in one general direction, but you’ll have some wobble here and there. And the key is going to be, when that motion occurs and with what force, which will determine whether anyone takes a direct hit.
The Weather Service issued a high surf warning early Monday, saying large seven- to nine-foot crashing waves were forming as Mawar approached. Guam officials have also asked residents to stay out of the water.
Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and Rear Admiral Benjamin Nicholson put the island and its military bases on high alert Saturday for possible destructive winds, according to a statement from the base.
The statement added that « all military installations on Guam are currently securing facilities and housing residents are urged to begin inclement preparedness efforts. »
Typhoons can form throughout the year, but are most common from May to October.
Mawar, a Malay name meaning « pink, » is the second storm named in the western Pacific this season. The first, Tropical Storm Sanvuweakened in less than two days.
Lauren McCarthy AND Derrick Brison Taylor contributed report.